CANANDAIGUA — Another attorney has entered the race for Ontario County Court judge.
Edward “Russ” Kenyon formally announced his candidacy Wednesday in a press release. He is seeking the position held by William Kocher, who will have to step down by the end of the year after reaching the state’s mandatory retirement age of 70 for a county judge.
“The people who appear in Ontario County Court may be facing the toughest challenges in their lives. They must have confidence that the judge presiding over their cases will make decisions without fear, without favor, and without bias,” Kenyon said. “As the only candidate with critical judicial experience, voters can look at my record and see that I am committed to serving with the highest level of integrity and honor.”
Kenyon is the second announced candidate for the position. Last month, another attorney, Kristina “Kitty” Karle — a former Monroe County assistant district attorney — launched her campaign.
A 40-year resident of Ontario County, Kenyon currently serves as town justice in East Bloomfield. He said he has presided over hundreds of cases covering a wide range of legal matters, including criminal, civil, small claims, landlord-tenant and municipal law matters, as well as presiding over many arraignments, hearings, dispositions and trials.
“I’m honored to serve our community as town judge because it provides countless opportunities for me to have a positive impact on the lives of so many local families,” Kenyon said. “This year I’m running for county judge to put my legal and judicial experience to work for all of the people of Ontario County.”
Kenyon has been a partner with his father, Bill, for the past 25 years at Kenyon & Kenyon law firm in Canandaigua. In that role, Kenyon said he has represented hundreds of senior citizens with planning for long-term care, Medicaid, disability and estate planning.
In the community, Kenyon has served on the board of directors of the Canandaigua Chamber of Commerce, Ontario ARC, Ontario County Tourism Promotion Bureau, Finger Lakes Visitors Connection, Canandaigua Senior Housing, New York State Office of the Aging, Ontario County Office for the Aging, and F.F. Thompson Health System Ethics Committee. In addition, he has been a volunteer coach and official for youth soccer, skiing, and swimming and diving.
“I’ve spent my life and career listening and learning from everyone around me. That’s what a good judge should do,” he said. “Over the next 10 months, I look forward to working hard to listen to the voters of Ontario County so they can voice their concerns and I can share information about my qualifications.”
Kenyon is a graduate of Marcus Whitman High School, University of Rochester and Wake Forest University School of Law. He lives in East Bloomfield with his wife Heather, also a Marcus Whitman alumna who works as a school psychologist with Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES. The Kenyons have two children, both of whom attend Bloomfield High School.
A lifelong Republican, Kenyon said he plans on running in a GOP primary against Karle.
The primary election is scheduled for Sept. 13. The general election follows Nov. 6.